B’ha’a’lot’cha 5779-2019

“Giving Our Disciples A Firm Grounding”
(Revised and updated from B’ha’a’lot’cha 5760-2000)

Because the Torah employs the unusual expression, “B’ha’a’lot’cha,” when you raise up and kindle the candelabra, our rabbis learn that the priests were to light each new candle in the Menorah until the flame of the new candle was able to rise on its own. This unusual expression is meant to serve as a message to teachers and mentors who are instructed to train and encourage their disciples to stand on their own feet, providing them with multiple educational and religious experiences, in order for them to emerge as healthy disciples, rather than mere sycophants.

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Tzav 5768-2008

"Never Give Up Hope!"

The Torah teaches that in addition to lifting up a scoop of ashes and placing them near the altar, the priest must remove the accumulated ashes from the altar and bring them outside the camp to a pure place. The Beit Yaakov interprets this as a metaphor never to give up hope on any Jew. Even though the embers seem to be dying, we must enable them to glow again by placing them in a pure place.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Shemini-Yom Hashoah 5767-2007

"Never Again!-Again!"

As Yom Hashoah is marked, we think about the slogan "Never Again" and our pledge to never allow the wholesale destruction of the Jewish People to take place again. Unfortunately, it is happening again--this time through a silent spiritual Holocaust.

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0 Comments5 Minutes

Chukat-Balak 5763-2003

"How to Market G-d!"

In parashat Chukat, the Jewish people, once again challenge G-d by speaking against the Al-mighty and Moses and asking, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness...?" In response to this arrogant display of lack of faith, G-d sends fiery serpents to attack the rebellious hordes, and a large number of people die. To stop the plague, Moses builds a fiery serpent and places it on a tall pole so that all who are bitten will look at the serpent and live. What is the role of this serpent? After all, it seems to be very much akin to voodoo.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

B’ha’alot’cha 5762-2002

"Is This What the Torah Predicted?"

In parashat B'ha'alot'cha we find two extremely telling stories concerning two groups of ancient Israelites. The first, the "mixed multitude," cry out, "Our souls are dried up, there is nothing at all." The second group protest to Moses that they do not wish to miss celebrating the ritual of the Pascal sacrifice together with their families and the entire people of Israel. These two groups may very well represent the millions of alienated contemporary Jews who have declared that their souls are dried up and a growing number of contemporary Jews who love their Judaism and wish to reach out to, and inspire, their turned-off brothers and sisters who are ignorant of their heritage..

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0 Comments9 Minutes

B’ha’alot’cha 5760-2000

"Giving Our Disciples a Firm Grounding"

Because the Torah uses the unusual expression, "B'ha'a'lot'cha," when you raise up and kindle the candelabra, our rabbis learn that the priests were to light each new candle in the menorah until the flame of the new candle was able to rise on its own. This unusual expression is meant to serve as a message to teachers and mentors who are instructed to train and encourage their disciples to stand on their own feet, providing them with multiple educational and religious experiences in order for them to become healthy disciples, rather than mere sycophants.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes